Application of Lean Methods in Shipping Pharmaceuticals (Etihad Airways)
Lean Thinking is an umbrella for “total quality management,” “continuous improvement,” “zero defect,” “six sigma,” “DMAIC,” and other similar terms. These concepts focus on doing the right thing, at the right time, in the right place, in the right quantity, and doing it right the first time. Lean is significantly different from traditional, internally focused, push production concepts and approaches of batch-and-queue manufacturing, with high inventory, long wait times, high backflow, and value defined by the corporation.
The main fields of activity concerned are product development, the supply chain, shop floor management and, to a lesser extent, after-sales services [Warnecke, H, Hüser, M (1995)]. There are multiple ways to combine the individual practices in order to represent the multi-dimensional nature of Lean Manufacturing [Shah, R, Ward, P T (2003)], which is the reason for the considerable amount of literature on the topic. Following its dramatic successes in manufacturing in the pharmaceutical industry, many companies have chosen to implement a Lean Management approach in order to accomplish such goals as decreasing waiting time to release products onto the market, to reduce production waste, improve communication with end users and raise quality levels, both in the course of production and in testing laboratories.
Stability failure investigations with field alert evaluations, corrective actions and preventative actions (CAPAs), complaint reviews (quality and medical), rejects and returns (salvages assessment, investigation, and disposition), material qualification, laboratory operations, metrology, raw material receiving and release, sample control, training and qualification of employees etc.
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Warnecke, H, Hüser, M (1995). Lean Production. International Journal of Production Economics. 41(1):37–43.
Shah, R, Ward, P T (2003). Lean manufacturing: Context, Practice Bundles, and Performance. Journal of Operations Management. 21: 129–149.
Thomas, H. (2005). Transforming the Pharma Industry: Lean Thinking Applied to Pharmaceutical Manufacturing. Proceedings of the 7th World Congress of Chemical Engineering, Glasgow, 11–14 July, paper 074-002.
Shahram, T (2008). Lean Manufacturing Performance in China: Assessment of 65 manufacturing plants, Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, 19(2): 217–234.